The State of Minnesota recognizes aquaculture (privately raising fish or other aquatic life) as agriculture. We consider farmed fish to be livestock. If you currently raise fish or are interested in raising and selling fish, shrimp, shellfish, or other aquatic life, this page will guide you to information and resources that might be helpful.

Designing aquaculture systems and raising fish

Grants and loans

The MDA offers Livestock Investment Grants, Value-Added Grants, Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grants, Beginning Farm Loans, Farm Opportunity Loans, Livestock Equipment and Expansion Loans, and other kinds of financial support.

  • MDA Grants, 651-201-6500
  • MDA Loans, 800-366-8927

Marketing fish and fish products

  • Minnesota Grown Promotion Program, 800-657-3878
  • MDA New Markets Program, 651-201-6539

Licenses, permits and rules

  • Aquatic Farm License, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 651-296-3325
  • Permits for applying fish manure to land and/or discharging water from fish farms, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 651-296-6300 or 800-657-3864; see also Aquaculture and Water Pollution Control (PDF)
  • Commercial fish feed manufacturing/distribution licenses, MDA, 651-201-6027
    (If you mix/blend feed for your own fish from raw ingredients, you do not need an MDA license or permit.)
  • Minnesota statutes and rules that pertain to aquaculture